President Roslin doesn't cry on the shuttle back to Colonial One. She is visibly sad. Distant in the still pictures taken and transmitted by an unnoticed reporter, but not distraught.
But the reporter notices the tremble in her hands when she's given a glass of water. The story in his head changes subtly then. Words twisting just a little bit so that what had been 'cold and unfeeling' became 'stoic and bereaved.'
Later, alone in her quarters, Laura only feels a little bit terrible at her steady hands.
The feeling stops when she remembers him cold and alone on that metal tray. Laid out like he didn't matter.
She muffles her sobs in her sleeve until she remembers that there's no on there to listen anymore. And then she doesn't.
The day after Billy's small funeral ceremony – Dee in a borrowed dress, Laura in her black suit – President Roslin makes a request for names. Five are given off the available listings, and appointments are made.
Her new aide is an older woman. Someone given a trip-of-a-lifetime cruise by her grandchildren to commemorate the day of her birth.
Laura hires her because the woman looks her in the eye, nods, and asks nothing but when she'll be expected to move.
The days continue.
In the first Cylon attack since the destruction of the resurrection ship, Laura finds herself reaching for a hand that isn't there. Groping for a full three seconds before her mind catches up and lets her grip the seat arm instead.
Later, when the call comes in from Galactica, she winces at the young woman's voice. Too much, too raw. Has to quash the sudden and complete desire to scream at the girl and at the Admiral and at everyone on that godsforsaken ship who'd lived.
"Thank you, Petty Officer," is all she actually says.
Smiles at how it sounds like she means it.
Her hands are always cold now. She'd thought she'd put that behind her when the miracle cure she'd hoped so hard for had magically appeared.
She knew the gods had an evil sense of balance but she never expected this.
It's odd to be who she is now. To be the President. She's so rarely Laura anymore. Because that's all anyone sees anymore. She'd thought that was true before. Had known it.
She isn't dying. Not obviously. No, she's healed and stronger than she's ever been.
She never realized how not-alone she was until after Billy'd died in a pool of his own blood.
Laura wonders if he misses her but won't let herself finish the thought.
President Roslin visits the Cylon whenever she makes the trip to Galactica.
Asks her guards to wait outside for a few minutes, and she stands outside the two-way glass, watching the it grow larger and larger with child. She knows it knows she's there. An idle part of her mind wonders if it thinks she's beholden to it. That she'll give pause if fancy demands she order its – their at this point – death sentence.
She knows she won't. But it doesn't know that.
No, that's not why she's there.
Admiral Adama is not a stupid man. She's always known this. Learned it about him after he got over his pride and had run like she'd asked. She'd always wondered what had made him change his mind about that but had never asked.
Knows she won't ask now.
He is not stupid. He only asks her to Galactica now when absolutely necessary.
She smiles at him a little, nods and steps off of her shuttle. Only flinches a little when she notices Captain Adama out of the corner of her eye. Tries not to let the smile freeze.
Wonders if this part will ever get easier.
She lets her eyes drift back towards the father.
"We have everything set up to go over in command."
Behind her, her aide's heels click on the deck grating, a slow clomping beat that isn't quiet or close or familiar.
Glances out of the corner of her eye at Adama, wondering how he looked before he lost his youngest son. Or if those lines on his face came after.
He takes her arm to help her over the bulkhead. It's something he's done a thousand times over and has done since the day she met him.
Neither of them say a word when she pulls away.